European Projects

CURRENT EU PROJECTS

 

AVIDICUS 3: Assessment of Video-Mediated Interpreting in Criminal and Civil Justice – Assessing the Implementation

AVIDICUS 3 focuses on the use of videoconferencing in bilingual legal proceedings that involve an interpreter. The main aim is to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the VC solutions used in different types of legal institutions across Europe in order to ascertain whether these solutions are suitable for bilingual communication. A related aim is to make the training solutions developed in AVIDICUS 1 and 2 more accessible. Based on the insight that that traditional face-to-face training can be costly or impractical, AVIDICUS 3 will develop an innovative method for using the medium of VC itself to deliver training in bilingual videoconferencing.

 

 LIT Search

Under the Stockholm Programme 2009 to 2013, which was adopted by the European Council and which is a roadmap for procedural safeguards in EU member states, a database of legal interpreters and translators is to be set up on the e-Justice portal. The “LIT Search” project will be a pilot project to explore the modalities and practical features of such a database and eventually link up the countries participating in the pilot project.

 

TraiLLD: Training in Languages of Lesser Diffusion

The aim of the TraiLLD-project is to focus on the different aspects and methods of training for interpreters in languages of lesser diffusion. In this project we will bring together the expertise of the different partners in this field. However, all partners are still confronted with the difference in quality between interpreter training for main/traditional languages and the one for LLD. In this project we will share our expertise in training legal interpreters to design a new methodology and strategy that focuses on how to train these LLD interpreters and eliminate the aforementioned quality differences with interpreters of main languages. To reach these goals, we will for instance test a framework of best practices in training methodologies. The ultimate goal is to formulate and disseminate recommendations – through description of models and guidelines for future training in LDD - for all member states to ensure fair trial, also for speakers of LLD by means of the description.

 

Understanding Justice

The Understanding Justice project is a two-year multi-partner project funded by the DG Justice of the EU Commission. The project is orientated towards interpreting in the civil justice domain. Its objectives are:

- to adapt the existing corpus of knowledge and recommendations for Legal Interpreting and Translation (LIT) in criminal justice to the delivery of LIT in the civil justice domain
-to investigate the provision of self-assessment methodologies for legal interpreters wishing to practice in civil justice settings
-to examine the role of interpreters in mediation activities where one or both parties do not share a common language

The project will undertake the following actions:

i) evaluation of the EU acquis and other legislation relevant to the provision of interpreting and translation in civil justice proceedings
ii) evaluation of how the corpus of work completed in successive DG Justice funded projects on LIT in criminal justice can be adapted for civil justice proceedings
iii) development of methodologies for qualified LITs working in the criminal justice domain to self-assess their competencies against the requirements of interpreting in the civil justice domain
iv) research into the provision of interpreting in mediation and alternative dispute resolution and the use of bilingual mediators

For further information or enquiries about Understanding Justice, please contact Brooke Townsley, at b.townsley@mdx.ac.uk.

 

Co-Minor-IN/QUEST

The CO-Minor-IN/QUEST project focuses on vulnerable victims, suspects and witnesses under the age of 18 (vulnerable because of two reasons: age and native language) and how to provide the necessary information, support and protection to this group. In a first stage, the project will concentrate on questioning children in the pre-trial phase of criminal cases and particularly on those interviews that are interpreter-mediated. In a second stage, the needs existing in the partner countries will be investigated. By means of an international online survey, which will run from mid-September until mid-November 2013, professionals of the three concerned disciplines (justice, psychology and interpreting) will deliver information on specific problems and challenges to gain insight in the already existing expertise. On the basis of the questionnaire results, the project partners plan to formulate an initial set of recommendations by the first months of 2014.

 

QUALETRA: Quality in Legal Translation

The QUALETRA (Quality in Legal Translation) project contributes towards facilitating transparent, cost-effective criminal proceedings in EU courts, guaranteeing the rights of suspected and accused persons as stipulated in Directive 2010/64/EU. The project focuses on multilingual term bases, translation memories, developing training materials for legal translation, implementation of training programmes and accredited tests in order to improve the training of legal translators and practitioners to interact efficiently with beneficiaries of legal translation services such as police, prosecutors, court staff, judges, lawyers and professionals providing victim support.

 

SOS-VICS: Speak Out for Support

"Speak Out for Support (SOS-VICS)" is a pilot project whose objective is to improve training of gender violence professional interpreters. This project is being co-financed by the EU’s Directorate General Justice and partner universities. The purpose of SOS-VICS is to facilitate assistance to gender violence victims and at the same time contribute to raising awareness on the need for hiring professional interpreters during linguistic mediation in such cases.

 

Qualitas: Assessing LI Quality through Testing and Certification

Qualitas: Assessing LI Quality through Testing and Certification complements and furthers the work done by previous EU projects related to legal interpreting and translating. It aims to add significantly to Member States' ability to provide reliable interpreting services to their legal systems by providing information on how to adequately identify individuals with the requisite knowledge and skills to assist in criminal matters that involve individuals who are not sufficiently proficient in the language of the proceedings. Specifically, the project addresses the issue of quality as raised in articles 2.8 and 5 of European Directive 2010/64/EU on the Right to Interpretation and Translation in Criminal Proceedings.

The main goal of the Qualitas Project is to enhance the effective provision of spoken language interpretation in legal proceedings and police matters in EU Member States in order to ensure that the due process rights and procedural guarantees of all suspects and defendants are respected and that victims of crime are heard and informed. The project aims to contribute to “the development of the European Union as an area of justice for all, based on mutual recognition and mutual trust, ensuring legal certainty for citizens, consumers and businesses in claiming their rights within, and across, national borders” as foreseen in the mission statement of the DG Justice, Freedom and Security.

Specific objectives are to provide assistance to any agency or individual charged with developing methods to guarantee a level of quality that will prevent miscarriages of justice due to substandard interpreting services. Information will be available in both print and electronic format (www.qualitas-project.eu) and will include foundations and guidelines for the development and administration of valid and reliable interpreter certification schemes. Topics such as the general principles of testing, interpreting test formats, testing knowledge of ethics and legal systems, dealing with languages of lesser diffusion and the use of new technologies for testing will be addressed. Detailed recommendations for the organization and administration of a certification process will be provided together with sample formats, questions and scoring alternatives. A project HELP DESK will be available from September - December 2014 to provide individualized consultation services both on-line and by phone.

Project partners include:
- University of Alicante (Spain), Cynthia Giambruno (coordinator) & Juan Miguel, Ortega Herráez
- Middlesex University (U.K.), Brooke Townsley
- University of Surrey (U.K.), Sabine Braun
- Stockholm University (Sweden), Cecilia Wadensjö
- Dutch Legal Aid Board (Netherlands), Han von den Hoff
- Università degli Studi Internazionali di Roma (Italy), Annalisa Sandrelli
- KU Leuven (Belgium), Yolanda Vanden Bosch, Hendrik Kockaert, Sarka Timarova
- Oslo and Akershus University College (Norway), Hanne Skaaden

Expert consultants:
- Ann Corsellis (U.K.)
- Hilary Maxwell-Hyslop (U.K.)
- Erik Hertog (Belgium)
- Roelof van Deemter (Netherlands)

 

RECENTLY COMPLETED EU PROJECTS

 

AVIDICUS 2

The findings of AVIDICUS 1 suggest that further research is required to investigate how the combination of technological mediation through videoconference technology and linguistic-cultural mediation through an interpreter affects the specific goals of legal communication and to elicit adaptive strategies to mitigate such effects. Moreover, the need to inform EU citizens about how they can benefit from video-mediated interpreting, when appropriately used, has been neglected but can now be met using the European e-Justice portal. In accordance with this, the AVIDICUS 2 project aims to disseminate current and emerging knowledge about the uses of videoconference interpreting (VCI) and (RI) in criminal proceedings to national authorities, legal practitioners, interpreters and European citizens; improve current insights into these forms of interpreting and identify best practice through research into the behavioural and communicative aspects of VCI and RI in criminal proceedings; improve training opportunities for legal practitioners and interpreters in the use of VCI and RI.

 

Building Mutual Trust II

Financed by the Directorate General Justice of the European Commission, the  Building Mutual Trust II project was a two-year action (2011-2013) undertaken by eight partners from Belgium, Spain and the UK. The project partners developed a series of inter-linked training videos with embedded learning points intended primarily for legal personnel. The videos provide guidance on legal interpreting practices and working successfully through a legal interpreter. The videos are free-to-air and available to view on the Building Mutual Trust website. The project as well as the predecessor Building Mutual Trust I project, including the full report for BMT I, the BMT I materials bank and the BMT II videos, can be accessed at www.buildingmutualtrust.eu. Please direct any enquiries to the BMT projects coordinator, Brooke Townsley, at b.townsley@mdx.ac.uk.

 

ImPLI: Improving Police and Legal Interpreting

With the aim to contribute to the implementation of DIRECTIVE 2010/64/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 20 October 2010 on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings, especially articles 2 and 6, the ImPLI (Improving Police and Legal Interpreting) project has a twofold objective: to provide interpreter training institutes with a better understanding of the interviewing techniques developed by the police, customs and prosecution services and thus enhance their training methods, and to inform police and prosecution services about interpreting techniques and how these techniques can assist them in their work when properly implemented.

 

TRAFUT: Training for the Future

On 20 October 2010, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive 2010/64/EU on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings. This is a landmark document and decision for all stakeholders involved in criminal proceedings across languages and cultures. In this document, particularly Article 2 (Right to interpretation), Article 3 (Right to translation of essential documents), Article 5 (Quality of the interpretation and translation) and Article 6 (Training) deserve our close attention and commitment. The TRAFUT (Training for the Future) project is intended to assist in and contribute to the implementation of the EU Directive by way of four regional workshops held throughout the EU in the course of 2011 and 2012.

 

AVIDICUS 1

The overall aim of the AVIDICUS 1 project was to explore whether the quality of videoconference interpreting (VCI) and remote interpreting (RI) is suitable for criminal proceedings, which would constitute a significant step towards improving judicial cooperation across Europe. Furthermore, AVIDICUS 1 aimed to address the training of interpreters and legal practitioners in VCI/RI.

 

Building Mutual Trust I

Financed by the Directorate General Justice of the European Commission, the Building Mutual Trust I project was a three-year action (2007 - 2010) undertaken by 14 partners from Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Romania and the UK. The project partners established and disseminated benchmark criteria for standards of legal interpreting and translation for use in EU member states, developed training programme templates for the training of legal interpreters and translators and created an open access databank of training materials for the use of LIT trainers and legal services personnel. The project as well as the follow-up Building Mutual Trust II project, including the full report for BMT I, the BMT I materials bank and the BMT II videos, can be accessed at www.buildingmutualtrust.eu. Please direct any enquiries to the BMT projects coordinator, Brooke Townsley, at b.townsley@mdx.ac.uk.

 

EULITA (JLS/2007/JPEN/249)

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Agis II (JLS/2006/AGIS/052): Questionnaire on the Provision of Legal Interpreting and Translation in the EU

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Status Questionis

 

Agis I (JAI/2003/AGIS/048): Instruments for Lifting Language Barriers in Intercultural Legal Proceedings

Aequilibrium

 

Grotius II (2001/GRP/015): Equal Access to Justice across Language and Culture in the EU

Aequalitas

 

Grotius I (98/GR/131): Grotius Conference on Interdisciplinary Working Arrangements between the Legal Services and Legal Interpreters and Translators.

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Aequitas Acces to Justice across Language and Culture in the EU